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Heyl, Markus Philip Ludwig (2012): Nonequilibrium phenomena in many-body quantum systems: dynamics, thermodynamics, and dynamical phase transitions. Dissertation, LMU München: Faculty of Physics
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Abstract

This thesis contributes to the field of nonequilibrium phenomena in many-body quantum systems. The properties of systems driven out of equilibrium are studied from three different perspectives: dynamics, thermodynamics, and dynamical phase transitions. The real-time dynamics of quenched quantum systems is studied on the basis of explicit examples of strongly-correlated many-body systems such as the Kondo model, the Luttinger liquid, and the anisotropic Heisenberg chain. The thermodynamic point of view is addressed in terms of the nonequilibrium work fluctuation theorems. In particular, it is shown that work distribution functions and thus also the Crooks relation can be measured in optical spectra of the x-ray edge type. The central aspect of this thesis is the definition of a dynamical phase transition for closed quantum many-body systems that is then analyzed in detail for the one-dimensional transverse field Ising model. In the end the properties of periodically driven quantum systems is discussed for different models such as the Kondo model, resonant level model, and the Luttinger liquid.